Impromptu brewday

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ephemeraldog
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Impromptu brewday

Post by ephemeraldog » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:11 pm

On seeing the weather at 7am today (heavy hitting rain as they say in Ceredigion), I put all thoughts of working on the smallholding firmly away and decided instead to brew a beer. I took delivery of a freshly milled sack of propino, various specialist grains and some tasty hops last week so was itching to put some to good use. I'd been reading through V1 of BrewDog's DIYDog I'd had on the pc for a few years and I thought what the heck, I've got some of the makings of 5 am Saint I'll try my first ever "clone", what could go wrong?
Ah.
Four hours later, after feeding & mucking out all the livestock, checking the polytunnel & the usual morning chores I finally get started on things. I've moved on a bit from doing everything in my single Bruheat boiler and now employ a Lidl jam maker as my mash/lauter tun with a grain sack that contains the mash & can then be lifted & held for vorlauf & sparge. The jam maker is fairly useful, but the declared temp usually is about 5 degrees above actual, so I used an almost new Brannan digital probe thermometer to check temp in the centre of the vessel. It had worked fine for my last brew & once the mash was under way I left it hanging on the side of the tun while I weighed out hops. When I returned to it the probe had fallen in & some of the metal lead was also under the wort, I fished it out, looked at the display only to see a reading of 85C! Yikes, I checked the jam maker display (67C to give a mash temp of 62C), then got out my trusty old digital handheld thermometer I'd put into retirement, which confirmed the 62C. Phew, the mash hadn't overheated. I disconnected the Brannan probe, rinsed & dried it, then plugged it back in. 81.5C.... and it stayed that way for the rest of today. Does anyone have similar experiences or know of a fix for it? I've had issues with other Brannon thermometers in the polytunnel so am thinking their quality isn't that good. I will need to get something decent for my 100L system.
[img]https://s22.postimg.cc/tpsobuhd9/20180906_153609.jpg[/img] My dumb Brannon thermometer :(
Moving on, the mash went well & no signs of starch at 75 mins (I usually mash for 90), vorlauf was slow going (I transfer litre jugfuls onto the grains manually until it clears to my liking) - my new malt seems to plug things up more than my last batch, sparge was slow too, but I did enough until run off was barely sweet.
The slow vorlauf & sparge had set me back a bit & I'd committed to a meet up at our local pub (West Wales CAMRA Pub of the Year, no less!) early evening, so I hoped for no nonsense in the boil, which, thankfully, I got. With a lot of rushing around and a promise to my better half that I'd clear up all my mess tomorrow, I got 23L racked out of the Brewheat and into the cooling rain (I still haven't made a cooling system so trust to nature for the time being).
[url=https://postimg.cc/image/3u8xsnn99/][img]https://s22.postimg.cc/3u8xsnn99/20180906_153925.jpg[/img][/url] Some delicious-smelling Amarillo & Nelson Sauvin taking a hot bath.

Time check.....17:00 hrs, perfect, opening time at the local and inspiration for the name of today's brew: 5 pm Sprint :D
Last edited by ephemeraldog on Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ephemeraldog
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Re: Impromptu brewday

Post by ephemeraldog » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:15 pm

Apologies for the lack of images, I thought I could add them in options after I pressed Submit. I'll get the hang of this someday!

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Jim
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Re: Impromptu brewday

Post by Jim » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:15 am

ephemeraldog wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:11 pm
On seeing the weather at 7am today (heavy hitting rain as they say in Ceredigion), I put all thoughts of working on the smallholding firmly away and decided instead to brew a beer. I took delivery of a freshly milled sack of propino, various specialist grains and some tasty hops last week so was itching to put some to good use. I'd been reading through V1 of BrewDog's DIYDog I'd had on the pc for a few years and I thought what the heck, I've got some of the makings of 5 am Saint I'll try my first ever "clone", what could go wrong?
Ah.
Four hours later, after feeding & mucking out all the livestock, checking the polytunnel & the usual morning chores I finally get started on things. I've moved on a bit from doing everything in my single Bruheat boiler and now employ a Lidl jam maker as my mash/lauter tun with a grain sack that contains the mash & can then be lifted & held for vorlauf & sparge. The jam maker is fairly useful, but the declared temp usually is about 5 degrees above actual, so I used an almost new Brannan digital probe thermometer to check temp in the centre of the vessel. It had worked fine for my last brew & once the mash was under way I left it hanging on the side of the tun while I weighed out hops. When I returned to it the probe had fallen in & some of the metal lead was also under the wort, I fished it out, looked at the display only to see a reading of 85C! Yikes, I checked the jam maker display (67C to give a mash temp of 62C), then got out my trusty old digital handheld thermometer I'd put into retirement, which confirmed the 62C. Phew, the mash hadn't overheated. I disconnected the Brannan probe, rinsed & dried it, then plugged it back in. 81.5C.... and it stayed that way for the rest of today. Does anyone have similar experiences or know of a fix for it? I've had issues with other Brannon thermometers in the polytunnel so am thinking their quality isn't that good. I will need to get something decent for my 100L system.
Image My dumb Brannon thermometer :(
Moving on, the mash went well & no signs of starch at 75 mins (I usually mash for 90), vorlauf was slow going (I transfer litre jugfuls onto the grains manually until it clears to my liking) - my new malt seems to plug things up more than my last batch, sparge was slow too, but I did enough until run off was barely sweet.
The slow vorlauf & sparge had set me back a bit & I'd committed to a meet up at our local pub (West Wales CAMRA Pub of the Year, no less!) early evening, so I hoped for no nonsense in the boil, which, thankfully, I got. With a lot of rushing around and a promise to my better half that I'd clear up all my mess tomorrow, I got 23L racked out of the Brewheat and into the cooling rain (I still haven't made a cooling system so trust to nature for the time being).
Image Some delicious-smelling Amarillo & Nelson Sauvin taking a hot bath.

Time check.....17:00 hrs, perfect, opening time at the local and inspiration for the name of today's brew: 5 pm Sprint :D
Sounds like you made the right choice of activity for the day! :)

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vacant
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Re: Impromptu brewday

Post by vacant » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:31 am

I've not had much luck with the two cheap probes-on-wire thermometers I've tried. Dipping the cable in hot wort seems to kill them. You can try a few rounds of boiling the probe/cable in water and drying it out. Didn't work for me.

What works reliably: an old liquid yoghurt thermometer, a liquid dairy thermometer ... and one of those cheap digital thermometers - all agree on temperature. The digital one probably keeps going because the probe is better sealed. So if you get another wire probe, try sealing the joint before use.
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ephemeraldog
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Re: Impromptu brewday

Post by ephemeraldog » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:33 pm

[quote=vacant post_id=836681 time=1536305498 user_id=743]
I've not had much luck with the two cheap probes-on-wire thermometers I've tried. Dipping the cable in hot wort seems to kill them. You can try a few rounds of boiling the probe/cable in water and drying it out. Didn't work for me.

What works reliably: an old liquid yoghurt thermometer, a liquid dairy thermometer ... and one of those [url=https://ebay.us/SbAwAV]cheap digital thermometers[/url] - all agree on temperature. The digital one probably keeps going because the probe is better sealed. So if you get another wire probe, try sealing the joint before use.
[/quote]

Thanks for the tip, I'll try some silicone sealant in the spring-covered area where the wire joins the probe. I'm currently drying it on a dehumidifier after giving it a good wash. Meanwhile I'm sticking with the trusty old digital probe thermo.

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